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Home  >  Topics  >  Crowd Control

November 19, 2011
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Occupy the skies? Drones arrive at protests

Aerial footage of a protest has officials wondering if activists will turn to airborne cameras

By PoliceOne Staff

A company based in Poland showed that its flying drones can record aerial views of protests, raising the question of whether the devices might be used by activists in the United States.

Sources say a RoboKopter equipped with a video camera recorded a confrontation in Warsaw among Polish nationalists, anarchists, and police.The tense and confusing footage, seen below, implies that in the future, aerial video at large-scale events may not be limited to news crews.

Currently, protesters at Occupy sites use handheld digital cameras or cellphone cameras to capture the scene, but the aerial view could be "the next step in compelling DIY citizen video," according to Wired.

It remains to be if a wave of police brutality accusations will come from above, but who controls the air would certainly affect any hypothetical Occupy drones.

"It is unlikely that the New York Police Department, which closed the airspace above Lower Manhattan during Tuesday's raid, would have taken kindly to a flock of drone journalists," the New York Times said.

Do you think the technology is a cause for alarm?

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